SECP allows Abamco to launch first Islamic Fund before December-end

KARACHI (December 17 2002) : The Securities Exchange Commission on Monday allowed ABAMCO Limited to launch the country's first Islamic Fund to be floated before the end of December 2002.

This will be ABAMCO's third open-ended mutual fund. ABAMCO is the first and largest asset management company in the private sector in Pakistan.

It manages Rs. 3.5 billion in assets on behalf of provident, pension and gratuity funds, welfare organisations, insurance companies, banks, non-banking financial institutions and thousands of individual investors.

ABAMCO has been managing mutual funds for over 7 years. It launched its first fund, the BSJS Balanced Fund (BBF) in August 1995. Its second fund, the Unit Trust of Pakistan (UTP), is an open-ended fund launched in October 1997.

The third fund, UTP-Income Fund (UTP-IF) was launched recently in August 2002. ABAMCO recently acquired the management rights of Lot “A” of ICP mutual funds. With this acquisition it has 15 mutual funds under its management.

Over the last five years, ABAMCO has returned an average of 18.78 percent per year to its investors in its flagship fund, UTP and 19.77 percent in BBF. Both the funds have been rated by PACRA and have been awarded AA(f) rating.

The objective of launching the UTP-Islamic Fund is to introduce Islamic Instruments in the financial system, capitalise on the growing awareness of Islamic Banking and provide an avenue of investment to investors who want to invest in Shariah Compliant Schemes along with optimum rate of return, safety and liquidity. People, who want to earn a halal return on savings, invest in current deposits, equity market, US Dollars, gold and real estate. These avenues are either offering very low rates of return, or are risky options or are too expensive for small investors. UTP-Islamic Fund will provide such investors, an option to earn Riba-free, comparatively high and safe returns on their investments.

UTP-Islamic Fund will be monitored by a Shariah Advisory Council, which has a pivotal role in the performance of the fund, as its guiding influence on investment policy will determine the creditability of the fund as a Shariah compliant investment vehicle.

The Shariah Council comprises of three members who not only enjoy considerable eminence in the area of Islamic Economics, but also have considerable experience in such capacity.

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